England are on right track under Gareth Southgate, says Germany boss Joachim Low

 
Ross McLean
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Joachim Low was appointed Germany boss in 2006 (Source: Getty)

Germany boss Joachim Low has given a ringing endorsement to the direction new England manager Gareth Southgate is taking the Three Lions as the two prepare to go head-to-head in Wednesday’s friendly.

England suffered a desperate 2016 as an embarrassing elimination from the European Championship at the hands of Iceland, which ended the tenure of Roy Hodgson, preceded the sacking of Sam Allardyce.

Southgate assumed the reins, initially in a caretaker capacity, and won plaudits for his team’s showing during their last outing, a 2-2 draw with Spain in November, which also impressed Low.

“Well, what you can really see is that England are a team in transit, as it were,” said Low, who was appointed Germany boss over a decade ago in 2006.

“Their coach has promised for them to play a more modern football, more possession-orientated. I watched a re-run of the game against Spain and that was a really strong performance.

“England have some fantastic individual players, very fast off the blocks, very pacy, prepared to take risks on the pitch. I think if there is one attribute that I would give is that it’s a team in change, a team that is changing.”

Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski is set to skipper world champions Germany in his 130th and final international appearance in Dortmund, and the 31-year-old believes a lack of managerial longevity is the principal reason for England’s consistent underachievement.

“I can’t really say what or why there is so many differences between Germany and England,” said Podolski.

“Maybe one of the main differences is that we, unlike England, have had a great coach for the last 10 years, so that has given us consistency as far as that is concerned.

“And the other main reason is that in 2004 German football really changed course and started to develop and it culminated in the 2014 World Cup.”